ZLHR to sue govt over traffic fines

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has threatened to sue the government over the recently-introduced traffic fines, which they say are “grossly unreasonable and do not serve the ends of justice”.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

traffic-police

Parliament recently endorsed the decision to hike the traffic fines from a maximum of $20 to $100, arguing the penalties would help restore order and reduce road carnage.

The new traffic fine schedule has already been gazetted, although police have not yet implemented the new rates, amid reports they were not sure whether to collect the money as spot fines or wait for traffic offenders to pay at the courts of law.

Dzimbabwe Chimbga, head of public interest litigation at ZLHR, said his organisation has received complaints from motorists and would soon file a court challenge.

“We will be tabling a legal challenge on their behalf when we open on Monday. We are obviously concerned that the government is trying to resolve a political and economic problem by using fines as a fundraising tool. This is not the purpose of fines,” he said.

“The fine is grossly unreasonable especially considering that the average salary earned by civil servants is $300 a month and that is not even being paid. How does the government hope to see these motorists pay such fines?” he said.

Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) said the new traffic fines were likely to increase cases of bribery among traffic police officers manning the country’s highways.

“Where unemployment is at a record high of 80%, such decisions reflect a high level of insensitivity to the plight of citizens. To introduce such unrealistic fines in an environment of poverty encourages lawlessness of both citizens and law enforcement,” TIZ said.

Meanwhile, a snap survey showed that even though the government has already published a Statutory Instrument giving effect to the new fines, police operating at roadblocks were still using with the old fines.

A police source said there was still confusion on whether the $100 fine was supposed to be collected on the spot or in court.

“We are still using the old fines until we receive communication from the top. We understand that it’s not clear if these are spot fines, so there is need for that clarity,” said a police source.

Both national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner, Charity Charamba and her deputy Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi were unreachable for comment yesterday.

11 Responses to ZLHR to sue govt over traffic fines

  1. grace mutano January 5, 2016 at 8:04 am #

    This shameless government just has to go. Just that Zimbos we are not united. If it was in SA such things would never happen, look at the universities riots recently. We need to say enough is enough. Tosvika rinhi vanhu veZimbabwe.

  2. susan4124 January 5, 2016 at 9:03 am #

    as Phyllis replied I am in shock that any body able to make $4140 in a few weeks on the internet . try this website..

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  3. maita January 5, 2016 at 9:10 am #

    ZanuPF has still to put one policy which is pro people, all they think of is to loot and if you look at it some of the finable points are just to broad, imagine a stop light can just stop functioning whilst you are on the road and the next spare shop is after a robot you are fined $100, it just does not make sense. or my window winder just snaps and I get fined for a window not opening although opening or closing a window may never cause an accident. Yes beating a red robot must be dealt severely. On unlicensed drivers I beg to differ most are because they cannot afford the 150 toll gate at VID, those who affird are very bad drivers, if you want to check this look at those young executives who are driving new company cars they have licenses gotten through the toll gate fee and are terrible drivers.

  4. samunyika January 5, 2016 at 11:27 am #

    Thank you ZLHR for being concerned about the welfare of the down-trodden. You did what our own MPs, who should know our state of affairs better, failed to see which is why they approved the resolution in parliament without any objections. The only MP who raised concerns was Esau Mupfumi who unfortunately said the amounts were lower than those charged by our neighbours. It escaped Esau’s moral faculty that currently Zimbabwe can not be compared to any country in the region. The fact is that our MPs are anti-people and they seem to derive joy from the people’s suffering. It requires no rocket scientist to discern that $100 is too much as a spot fine for an ordinary Zimbo.

  5. sssss January 5, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    all i hate is the fact is that they are still to sue. by the time their case reaches the courts zanu would have reaped a thousand people infact all motorist except the chefs. whether they are apologies or not after that the people will not have their money back. zanu has to go. At least we ask GOD to hear our prayers. if we go the Islam way we the people of zimbabwe’s sins have now been overtaken by zanu by far. 1 to 1000. that is why we are crying to GOD.

    • Eliphas January 5, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

      You hate the fact that they are still to sue, what did you do yourself? You are sleeping and dozing there hoping someone will do the work for you?? Huh?

  6. anesu January 5, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

    I actually think fine must be reduced to $5. that way offending motorists can simply pay fine instead of paying bride and promote corruption, As for those with defective cars or found without licences, they must not be simply fined, they must be stopped, a raker called in and a licenced driver called in to remove the car, respectively.

  7. hallinhill January 5, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    my Aunty Brianna just got a great Lexus IS F Sedan just by some parttime working online with a macbook…
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  8. gunguwo January 5, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

    I think $100 is just too much for an ordinary Zimbabwean motorist. I am trying to imagine Saviour Kasukuwere having broken one of those laws and being asked by the police to pay the fine. Do you think he will pay the $100, although he has much more money? It’s me and you tinonwa petrol ye maximum $10 to take the care from point A to B. Murombo haarovi chine nguwo chokwadi…

  9. Oto January 5, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

    Trying to compare spot fines with the rest of africa nxaa ko what about comparing road networks, fuel prices with our neighboring countries. Are we near them.

  10. sssss January 5, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

    @ eliphas its so sad that you dont get me here. i dont hate the human rights guys. the problem is that by the time their cases get to the courts zanu would have smiled with our money into the corrupt pockets. human rights guys are doing well but we are always caught napping. WE ARE.

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